Thursday, June 14, 2007

Hooked by Les Edgerton

A couple of years ago in my newsletter, Doing It Write, I wrote about Les Edgerton's book: Finding Your Voice: How to Put Personality in Your Writing. Today I thought I’d write about his new, fabulous book called, Hooked: Write Fiction that Grabs Readers at Page One and Never Lets Them Go.

Edgerton is a fiction writer and creative writing instructor. He's been the writer-in-residence at the University of Toledo for the past three years and teaches online creative writing for Vermont College. On May 30th, he presented a workshop at the Writers Digest/Book Expo Conference.

But enough about Edgerton, as knowledgeable as he is. Let's talk Hooked.

Put simply, in my opinion, Hooked is great. You might think the book is all about how to start your book. Afterall, the first sentence in the Introduction is:
Why a book on just story beginnings?"
But you'd be wrong ... and right. It is about the beginning of your book, but it goes beyond that to show how that beginning relates to the rest of your book. He tells you what the components of an opening scene are as well as the goals. You learn the difference between the lead's surface problem and his/her story-worthy problem. How the inciting incident has to be more than just a neat way to open your book -- it has to relate to the story-worthy problem.

He gives lots of examples from books and short stories. And with an index in the back, you can always find your way back to things when you need a refresher-read.

I liked this book so much I took it with me last weekend when I went to a conference at the Lost Pines Resort. I've finished reading it and now will go back and re-read all the lines I highlighted -- which are many.

A great book. I recommend either checking it out at the library or buying your own copy so you can mark it up. But definitely read it.

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